Did you pray for your minister this week? Will you pray for the man of God who is charged with feeding your soul? If no-one in the church prays for the man called to preach the Lord’s word to precious souls he will be left to carry the load alone. In this brief excerpt, taken from the prayer of Moses for Israel while Joshua went into battle, Rev. Charles Spurgeon demonstrates the need for people to pray for their ministers.
“Moses and Aaron did not go down to the battle-field themselves, but they climbed the mountain-side, where they could see the warriors in the conflict; and there Moses lifted up the rod of God. Note, that the Moses-service was essential to the battle; for when Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. The scales of the conflict were in the hand of Moses, and they turned as his prayer and testimony failed or continued.
It was quite as necessary that Moses should be on the hill as that Joshua should be in the plain. This part of church-work is often overlooked; but it is quite as necessary as the activity of the many. We need the secret prevalence of chosen servants of the Lord, whose business is not so much with men for God as with God for men. This holy work was of a very special character. Only three were able to enter into it.
I believe that, in every church, the deeply-spiritual, who prevalently commune with God, and bring down the blessing upon the work of the rest, are comparatively few; I might almost say, are absolutely few. God lays His own hand upon one here, and another there, and causes them to approach unto Him. ” Would God that all the Lord’s servants were prophets! ” But it is not so. The Lord uses many in His working-service, who, nevertheless, are not among His intimates. They do not hold high rank among the intercessors who have power with God. This service is peculiar; but the more widely it is exercised, the better for the cause of God. We want many who can draw down power from God, as well as many who can use that power against the enemy.
This Moses-service lay in very close communion with God. Moses, and Aaron, and Hur were called to rise above the people, and to get alone, apart from the company. They climbed the hill as a symbol, and in retirement they silently communed with God. That rod of God in Moses’ hand meant this,—God is here with these pleading ones on the mount; and by His powerful presence He is smiting the enemy. How blessed it is for a people to be led by those whom the Lord has honoured in former times, and with whom He still holds fellowship!
In this sacred engagement, there was a terrible strain upon the one man who led the others in it. In the process of bringing down the Divine power upon the people, the vehicle of communication was sorely tried. ” Moses’ hands were heavy.” Beloved, if God gives you spiritual power to lead in Christian work, you will soon find out that the condition of such leadership is a costly one. Your case requires a deeper humility, a steadier watchfulness, a higher consecration, and a closer communion with God than that of others; and these things will try you, and, in many ways, put a heavy strain upon you. You will be like Elias, who, at one time, could run like a giant, and at another could faint and fly. The burden of the Lord is no feather-weight.
In this hallowed service, help is very precious. When Moses’ hands began to drop down, and he himself was faint, Aaron and Hur gave him substantial aid. They fetched a stone, and put it under him, and they made him sit thereon, with his hands still lifted high, and his eyes towards Heaven. When he was all in a sweat, because of his anxious prayer, and the muscles of his arms grew weary, his brethren stood by him, each one holding up an arm lest the rod should drop; for if it did, the cause of Israel dropped also.
Are you a worker? Have you a leader fit to lead you? Bring a stone, and put it under him -. cheer his heart with some gracious promise from the Lord’s Word, or with some happy sign from the work itself. Cheer the good man as much as possible. Do not throw a stone at him, as I have known some workers do; but put a stone under him, that he may sit down, and not be overcome. Copy Aaron and Hur, by staying up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side, so that his hands may be steady until the going down of the sun. Happy men, thus to sustain their leader! The sacred power with God, which brings down victory for others, is given to some, and they use it; but flesh is weak, and they faint. Let others of like grace gather to their help, and hold up their hands, one in one way, and one in another way, as Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses. Let spiritual men earnestly help those whom God calls into spiritual communion with Himself, that so the Name of the Lord may be glorified, and victory may follow the banners of His people.
Excerpt from Only a Prayer Meeting, by Rev. Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)